Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Downstreams (Sunshine is Free as Well)

A week has passed and what a week it was. Sickness in the house, exams and essays, a chapter on the way, planning for the summer and enjoying the weather. There was no downloads last week, so this week there are more: + YouTube = music tv goodness
"This is a mashup of and YouTube made by Tim Bormans. It’s best described as an online music television based on your taste." Good.

Downloads | CNMAT
Download tools from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at University of California, Berkeley. Effects programs, filters, modulators and a harmonic waveform with specified amplitudes and phases. Perfect for the weekend.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Stockhausen's Originale: Doubletakes, The Film (1964)
In 1961, at age 33, Karlheinz Stockhausen was already among the most well-known of living composers, though not yet the guru figure of Beatles tributes and electronica lore. He had just finished composing Kontakte, a piece for electronic four-channel tape and piano/percussion duo, in which he attempted a high degree of interaction between live performers and taped sounds, as well a new degree of theatricality in the onstage movements of the musicians. He received a commission for a "theatrical" work from a theater producer in Cologne, and Originale (Originals) was scripted rapidly during a visit to Finland in July of 1961.

U B U W E B :: Allan Kaprow: Untitled Essay and Other Works (Book)
AMERICAN PAINTER, ASSEMBLAGIST, CREATOR OF HAPPENINGS and theorist, born 1927 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Within a brief and intense early career, Kaprow progressed from an interest in Abstract Expressionism and many-levelled paintings incorporating collage to assemblage. He enrolled in Hans Hofmann's painting school (1947-48). Through Hofmann he began to develop an expressive, high spirited style of action painting, based on real landscapes and figures, which was to lead, by a number of well-defined and documented steps, to the happenings of a decade later. With a number of Hofmann's students he cofounded the Hansa Gallery (named after their teacher), a cooperative artists gallery on East 10th Street in Greenwich Village. He soon moved away from the single art object or picture frame to environments and to a new art form called Happenings.

Shilo™ Presents We Make It Good
This is the second mix in our ongoing series featuring international man of good fortune, Chris Devlin. When he is not touring the world backing up Naeem “Spankrock” Juwan with his dj partner Ronald James Darko then he is most likely hanging out with his wonderful lady Ariel in the pastoral landscapes of Jamaica Plain, Boston. A Baltimore native, truly dear friend of mine, and absolutely amazing musician; Mr. Devlin has astounded me yet again with a mix of found field recordings, classic disco, original production, and lots of hammering and drilling noises. Definitely an amazing listen, kind of like if Animal Collective were DJs instead of a weirdo, hippy, hobbit family.

Collection of downloads from Sun Ra, celebrating the birth-earth-day arrival of the jazzman from outer space, and truly one of the most innovative, and bizarre, figures in 20th century music.

Night Air - 25 May 2008 - The Other Worlds of Sun Ra (Podcast)
We shine astro black atcha as we celebrate Sun Ra 'Arrival Day'. Sun Ra's visionary Afro Futurist project, begun in the 1940s, provided fuel for many strands of musical culture: he stood with one foot in rhythm and blues, one foot in free jazz and two hands stretched out into space.
His wild, cosmic philosophy and music fed into jazz, funk, reggae and ultimately techno and noise. We discover more about Ra with Amiri Baraka, the legendary poet/playwright/activist who collaborated with Ra in the 1960s and performs the tribute poem, 'Message From Sun Ra'. There are archival clips of the Sun Man himself acting, chatting and delivering a unique 'lecture'; and, of course, there's plenty of Sun Ra's strange and beautiful music.

Jalikebba & the Toubabs
A unique CD combining african Kora - music with swedish folkmusic and indian Tabla.
recorded live at Tanji Village Museum in The Gambia on 29.1.2005, that's the amazing result of an wellgoing jam-session of musicians from three cultural heritages.

Arnold Schoenberg Piano Piece. Op.11 a very early work from 1909 (Mp3)
The historical and musical significance of Schoenberg's Three Piano Pieces Op. 11 can hardly be overstated. The consensus today that they are landmarks, situated as his "earliest consistently atonal opus" (in the words of George Perle), belies a long history of analyses by resistant theorists who attempted to valiantly shoehorn them, however awkwardly, into the syntax of tonal harmony. Where one theorist heard the opening thematic material of the first piece as outlining the Phrygian mode, another heard it as an E major-minor, with F as a lower neighbor note. Another said, amazingly, "Of atonality there is no trace. One might possibly speak, however, of polytonality, of different tonalities heard simultaneously." (Forte)

Dialogic: Film School: Jennifer Baichwal Director of Manufactured Landscapes
An interview with Jennifer Baichwal director of Manufactured Landscapes. Edward Burtynsky is internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry. Manufactured Landscapes – a stunning documentary by award winning director Baichwal – follows Burtynsky to China, as he captures the effects of the country’s massive industrial revolution. This remarkable film leads us to meditate on human endeavour and its impact on the planet.

Noise Zuni « Continuo’s weblog
Founded in 1982 by Danny Yung (b. Shanghai, 1943), Zuni Icosahedron 進念‧二十面體 is a Hong Kong art collective working on theater plays and performing festivals, locally or abroad. Over the years, Zuni has become one of the major professional companies in Hong Kong [+]. In the mid 1990’s, they began to work with traditional chinese opera and actors, what they later dubbed ‘experimental tradition’, as exemplified in their 2008 production of Tears of Barren Hill [+]. Their theatrical plays were apparently rather demanding for the actors, asked to cry, laugh, breath heavily, in dramatic, theatrical gestures. ‘Chronicle of Women’ (1991) consisted of ‘12 women robed in china-blue cheong-sam with their backs towards the audience sighing to an empty stage. Only the final sighs grew from weak to strong, breathing, groaning, panting, a mixture of everything.’ (from Danny Yung’s liner notes).

Various ‘Sound Art’ CD and Booklet
Gorgeous book published 2007, notable for a collection of invaluable photos from rare performances by little exposed composers/artists, among which I was thrilled to find pictures of Hermann Nitsch, Harry Bertoia, Bernhard Leitner, Maryanne Amacher, Bill and Mary Buchen that were all unknown to me (the pictures, that is). Emphasizing sound by visual artists, the book focuses on music out of art galeries in the guise of sound installations, happenings, sound sculptures, Fluxus performances, etc. The inclusion of no-wave NY bands (like Gray, Menthol Wars, 3 Teens Kill 4) is a dubious choice, though it brings fresh air in the art-saturated galery spaces. The drawback of the book is to limit itself to art galeries, so that artists’ records, self-releases, anti-music, collective experiments, radio art are not even mentionned. Of course Licht has extensive knowledge of what happened in New York art galeries during the last 20 years and he has access to additional material from the 1970s and 1980s. His enthousiasm and curiosity for all kind of sound experiments make for a great trip through sound art history.

Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson is a guide book of "how to get from here to there", a synthesis of Timothy Leary's 8-circuit model of human consciousness with traditional psychology. It will totally change your perspective on the people you consider "stupid."

Shine on no matter what your form!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The State of Me

This blog is a bit slow at the moment but it is the last week of term for undergrad students so I have been marking exams and correcting essay drafts. As well I was sick for a lot of last week and then on the weekend my youngest son got the same bug and it 'knocked him for six'. He was admitted to hospital on Sunday with dehydration after a horrible weekend where we nursed him. He is still in hospital (with Erika sleeping by his side, although she is presenting her final project for a Masters in Journalism tomorrow!) and is much better, but it has made this week chaos.
I did however manage to attend bit of the SLanguages 2008 conference in Second Life (Blog post on the HUMlab blog with images), write about 8 pages of my next thesis chapter (a very Work in Progress seminar on the 10th June) and meet with three visiting researchers in HUMlab. I have a third term students seminar on Friday and a lot more thesis to write. Onwards! (as one of my supervisors wrote to me recently)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Windows XP Expansion Pack 3 Danger...Danger!!

Anyone who has installed or is about to install Windows XP Expansion Pack 3 and uses remote desktop to network between computers beware!! I installed it on my office computer which I often remote to from home PC and my laptop and now it is no longer functioning. This is extreamly irritating as I store my thesis text on my office PC as it is backed up twice a day by the university IT people. As well the university computer has access to journals and periodicals from the library's online collection as well as a lot of texts stored on its own drives. Now it seems Microsoft has stuffed up with the service pack and people are beginning to notice:

The latest service pack for Windows XP continues to cause problems for users. According to an online user forum, the latest glitch in Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) causes problems with the remote desktop access feature of Windows Home Server.

On the We Got Served U.K.-based Windows user forum, Windows XP users running Windows Home Server, Microsoft's home storage and local networking server, report that SP3 is cutting off their access to the server from their PCs. The remote desktop access feature would ask users to add their home server's Web site address in order to access it even after they already had, users reported.

According to a user on Microsoft's Windows Home Server forum, the problem arose because Windows XP SP3 by default disables Terminal Services Active X control as part of its security model. The user, ColinWH, posted a fix for the problem that outlines how to enable the Terminal Services ActiveX control in Internet Explorer.
PC World: Users Report More Trouble With Windows XP SP3

Friday, May 16, 2008

Historical MashUp: What Could Have Been.

Once upon a time when the world was young......

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Dr. Ian Bogost, a recent seminar guest in HUMlab and a professor at Georgia Tech (a university) has as part of his regular Gamasutra column discussed 'texture' in games. Ian gives an excellent account of texture, "tactile sensations that people find interesting on their own", in relation to the haptic qualities of computer games. He talks about Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Rez (2001) one of the most imaginative games I have come across and a skillful mix of textual synesthesia and kinetic participation.
I wrote about texture in my last thesis chapter but have since removed it from the draft. I use 'texture' in a very different sense to Ian's use of the term, but there are related areas. The main area of commonality between the texture of Bogost and the way I describe it is in relation to what Ian writes is "as if they were layered through time". I use layering as a way of describing the "procedurality" of digital texts (Murray 1997) in terms of reception.
I am still fond of the concept of texture and would like to develop it later (post-PhD). I decided to blog the rough 4 pages I wrote on texture, just to get it out. This is also my first entry of the thesis content on the blog as I hurtle towards the defense of my text sometime early next year.


I approach the relationship between design and response using the concept of texture. In relation to digital media artifacts the concept of texture is present in the early work of theorist Jay David Bolter, however it is restricted to the verbal and reading as the form of response. Bolter does however construct the digital text as primarily spatial and texture is the range of possible orientations from which the reader approaches and responds to the text. (See Bolter 2001) The main source for my own adoption of texture as a device for analysis of digital story telling and response comes from the spatial theories of Henri Lefebvre. Lefebvre defines texture in relation to architectural and urban space which “does not have ‘signified’ (or ‘signifieds’); rather it has a horizon of meaning: a specific or indefinite multiplicity or meanings, a shifting hierarchy in which now one, now another meaning comes momentarily to the fore, by means of - and for the sake of – a particular action” (Lefebvre 222) Texture is constituted by change over time (“comes momentarily to the fore”), choice in the face of hierarchy (such as rules, laws or physical conditions) and the possible responses (action) to the hierarchies. Texture according to Lefebvre is applied to digital works of literature to account for the unfinished elements of the work, the need for the respondent to engage with and enter into the text in order for it to function, and the multiple arrangements that emerge from each encounter.

The emphasis of ‘fitness for use’ in design effects the reception of digital literary artifacts. Hence my own development of texture as a means to discuss both the representational elements of the corpus works as well as those aspects of the work which emerge from the indicators of implied response. When applied to ‘interactive’ or participatory works of digital literature such as those of my six corpus works, texture provides an analytical path moving through time, from the authored work to the encountered artifact and on to active reception. As Lefebvre points out, texture transcends social practices such as literary signification because it is based on consensus through use, which is always changing, and the accommodation of otherwise distinct forces such as presence/representation, time/space and the spatial (see Lefebvre 222). In digital texts the spatial becomes a unifying principle for the sonic, written, visual and coded elements of the text.

The elements of digital text are arranged not only in a syntactical sense but also according to the spatial properties of the artifact, which is part of design. At the level of design, space is created as inseparable from the digital artifact that becomes “a mere platform for places, themselves construed as sheer positions.” (Casey 74). In the following chapter on story structure and implied response I shall return to the concept of place represented in the text as a narrative device. In relation to design and response it is space which determines time in the texts as any movement through the text manifests in the time/s represented by the text. Rhythm is one outcome from the design of space in a digital text that manifests through texture as time. By arranging particular textual elements through design a particular rhythm can be established for response when the text is activated. These rhythms only exist when the text is being responded to and therefore it is not possible to discuss them as being only part of the text as it is encountered as an artifact. Rather the rhythms of the text are only ‘alive’ when the work in being responded to, it is only their indicators that are recognizable when the text is not active in response. Texture encompasses the features of the digital literary work in response and as a material artifact. Texture is neither the mechanics of materiality nor the address of narrative nor the play quest of the labyrinth, but rather functions through each, including as part of the experience of responding to the digital work.

While the response to the work is, of course, not present in the text, by reading for indicators that are present in the text as the textures of design, it becomes possible to evaluate assumptions and expectations represented in the text regarding response. In digital works textures are comprised of features that cite response, not only spatial, as in Lefebvre’s concept, but also within the design, linguistic and aesthetics components represented. Potential is always present in the work, but texture occurs as affect only when the digital artifact is activated. Activation of a text as the contours of texture is achieved in a form of performance that constructs response as ritualized sets of behavior and guided interpretations. The actions and interpretations that are the rituals of response to digital literature follow the textures of its design. Texture is the experience of the text in the sense of ritual, where the elements which make up aspects of its physicality, such as instructions, design, narrative, code, guide interpretation and response. One simple example of texture is the hidden link that opens the next part of the digital work and is the only way to progress through the text.

The meeting between the text as artifact and the text as experience occurs in the concept of texture. It is not sustainable to separate the experience of digital media from the contexts and pretexts of that use. Design is one field where the contexts of use as response to digital texts and the meanings embodied converge, as “digital technology cannot take us to a place that is purged of cultural assumptions. Even when we go into cyberspace, we bring with us our cultural assumptions - along with, and attached to, an image of our bodies.” (Bolter and Gromala 186) To respond to a digital text is to recall and participate in particular assemblages of culture significance as texture.

How texture can define a work of digital literature is present in an example of the dialogues between one of the corpus texts and another online website. Google is the most popular search engine on the internet today (Nielson 2006). Google is an obvious choice to locate the online work Alleph by Sakab Bashir. By entering ‘Alleph’ into the Google software returned as the first hit; “Alleph_Home: is a sequal to and a partner project to – uses the Arabic alphabet and it's numerological associations to…” (Google 1) The link provided by Google to Alleph lead to the Flash Update page for Alleph, where the respondent is prompted to update their Flash Macromedia software: “SORRY - This site requires the Macromedia Flash Plug-in version 6 or above. You have an old version of the Flash player that cannot play the content we've created. Click the button below to download and install the latest version now.” (Alleph, Flash Update). Responding to the address of the flash update page as requested did not solve the impasse. The same Flash Update page opened again once the update had been performed. Only by noticing the URL of the webpage did it becomes clear that Google’s search motor algorithm, based on its preferential linking system, had ranked the Flash Update page for Alleph much higher (by nine subsequent pages) than the text’s opening splash page. The search for Alleph using Google illustrates how design, in this case the separate webpage for a Flash Update, delineated a particular response to the text. It is difficult to imagine that the creators of Alleph could have designed that access to their work was to be determined by the Google search engine. It became so and is an example of how texture emerges only in the active engagement with the digital text. The dialogues between the website, the linkages between the Alleph flash update page and the Alleph splash page became a part of the texture of Alleph.

To examine the relationships between design, texture and response in digital literature it is necessary to consider interactive design. Interactive design in a broad definition is concerned with how humans interact with technology. According to Löwgren and Stolterman one of the key principles in designing interactive artifacts is that “the product is never really finished, but keeps evolving though its lifecycle by the users’ own appropriation and modification,” (Löwgren and Stolterman 92). The description of the product of interactive design as “never really finished” and “evolving thought its lifecycle by the users” is similar to the role of language in creative literature. Language is never totally owned by anyone, but rather is participated in or shared for it to become communication. In the sense that every time a work of digital literature is located and responded to there is a new interaction taking place it should be viewed, like language, as unfinalized without a ‘last word’ being possible according to the “dialogic mode of address” (Bakhtin 1984. 63). Each new user of a digital work of literature brings new element/s to the interactive life of that work and the work is “organized as an unclosed whole of life itself, life poised on the threshold”. (Bakhtin 63) The parallels between the dynamic and interactive materiality of digital texts and Bakhtin’s concept of language are considerable. The Bakhtinian concept of dialogic language, where the many voices of the heteroglossic linguistic community make meaning, is present in the materials of digital texts as symbolic and simulative assemblages. In a dialogic of heteroglossic exchange there is no ‘last word’ rather the nexus of meaning goes on, in ebbs and flows, building dialogic networks. The “unfinished” nature of the interactive text is should be considered in relation to how a digital work is designed as well as its structural and material components, and how the dialogic interactions between each convey meaning.

Works Cited and Consulted

Bakhtin M.M. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. 1981. Ed. Michael Holquist.
Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas Press, 2002.

---. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Trans. 1986. Vern W. McGee. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.

Bashir, Sakab. Alleph. Accessed April 8, 2008

Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext and the Remediation of Print. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2001.

Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. 1999 Cambridge Mass. MIT Press, 2000.

Casey, Edward S. Getting Back into Place: Toward a New Understanding of the Place World. Bloomington: Indiana UP. 1993.

Google. Accessed 15 April 2008.

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992.

Lowgren, Jonas, and Erik Stolterman. Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design
Perspective on Information Technology
. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2004.

Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge MASS: MIT Press, 1997.

Nielsen. NetRatings Search Engine Ratings 2006. Accessed April 9, 2008.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

‘Staabucks Fukkee is Your Enemy’


Robert Rauschenberg Dead

Robert Rauschenberg

Artist Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) passed away on Monday. He was 82. Easily one of the most significant artists to come out of the twentieth century, Rauschenberg began painting in the 1940's, and eventually integrated collage, sculpture, performance, choreography, set design, and printmaking into his trailblazing practice. Throughout his career, he was continually dedicated to the concept that the artist must take on an active, participatory role in relation to the culture at large. This perspective was perhaps encouraged and strengthened while studying in the 1950's at the experimental and visionary Black Mountain College. During this period, he met John Cage and Merce Cunningham, and in 1952, the three participated in Theater Piece #1, cited by some as the first "happening" which involved the simultaneous performance of music, dance, and visual art. In 1967, he co-founded the groundbreaking organization Experiments in Art and Technology, whose mission to foster collaborations between artists and engineers served to bolster the creative application of new technologies in ways unimaginable before. To this day, the formation of Experiments in Art and Technology, along with the series of performances in 1966 from which it emerged, 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, mark a major milestone in the history of art and technology. Rauschenberg's openness to experimentation- both formally and conceptually- remain one of his principal contributions to American art. - Ceci Moss

Monday, May 12, 2008

Resistance Studies Magazine

The second issue of the Resistance Studies Magazine is out now (Direct link to pdf). It contains five highly relevant articles discussing and defining what Resistance Studies is all about and one review contributing to the critical debate on the concept of resistance. The magazine has doubled in length since the first issue came out in January, and through online publication this of course renders no problems.

The titles and authors are:

    * Claims to Globalization: Thailand’s Assembly of the Poor and the Multilevel Resistance o Capitalist Development, by Pei Palmgren, New York University
    * Becoming Power Through Dance, by Duygun Erim, The Open University
    * Changing the system from the outside – an evaluative analysis of social movements opposing the 2007 G8 summit, by Patrick T. Hiller, Nova Southeastern University
    * Multinational Corporations and Human Rights Abuses: A case study of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People and Ijaw Youth Council of Nigeria, by Victor Ojakorotu (Monash University) and Ayo Whetho ( University of KwaZulu-Natal)
    * School's Out: strategies of resistance in colonial Sierra Leone, by Christine H. Whyte, London School of Economics
    * Review; “Conceptualizing Resistance”, by Jocelyn A. Hollander and Rachel L. Einwohner, by Johan Johansson, University of Gothenburg, Museion

Please spread the word, and if you run a website or a blog, you are welcome to link to the magazine page!

Also the second issue has been produced with a zero budget, relying solely on the work of dedicated researchers and intellectuals. All of you who have contributed, even with the smallest things; Thank you so much!

Christopher Kullenberg (editor and publisher)
Jakob Lehne (assistant editor)

HUMlab Seminar on Thursday: Art History and Computer Art (Live Stream Available)

In HUMlab this week we have a very interesting seminar. It will be streamed live over the net from HERE (channel only open during seminar times) for those who cannot be in HUMlab under the UB at Umeå University. There should also be a live chatroom running during the seminar as well for those who would like to ask questions or communicate with others watching the stream. It will be available from HERE during the seminar times.

May 15 at 10:15 am CET]
Art History and Computer Art: Exploring arts-sciences-technology interrelations through Leonardo
Almila Akdag, University of California at Los Angeles

A kind of abstract from Almila Akdag:

"When I applied for Digital Humanities Fellowship, I had in mind to use citation networks to map out the birth of Visual Cultural Studies. I was especially interested in Visual Culture Studies’ engagement with the “digital”, i.e. digital art. However, to build such a huge citation network out of undigitized/and or poorly digitized data turned out to be a big hassle, and impossible to finish in the time limit of the fellowship period, during which I received technical support. This experience greatly helped me to fine-tune my questions, reduce the amount of data, and focus on a smaller project.

For my dissertation I investigated the relation of Computer Art with the agenda of art history. This is a topic that inevitably touches upon the interaction between Arts and Sciences, and one of my chapters is devoted how this topic is covered in Leonardo, an art journal with the aim of bridging arts, sciences and technology. A close inspection shows that Leonardo emphasized the importance of scientific standards in its way of offering a confluence to these three cultures. Tilting the balance heavily to one cultures has its sacrifices: one clear outcome of this is related to Computer Art, which is heavily criticized on the grounds of lacking critical content. In my study of Leonardo I have delved many papers which define art in a shallow way, disregarding its emotional and conceptual depth, cutting it from its historical, social and cultural roots, erasing its connection to the tradition. All this is done just to strengthen arts parallelism with sciences.

At HumLab, I would also enjoy showing the different digital humanities tools I might/should have been used to enhance my research. I’d also like to talk about my personal experience as a digital humanities fellow, and how I tried to combine my interest and wish in using digital tools with the prevailing methodologies of my own discipline. Digital Humanities as a methodology is not the norm in art history; far from it, it is rather regarded as a scientific approach to art historical problems, and as a potential threat to the theory infused perspective of the discipline. Here I see a parallelism with the intrinsic problems of Computer Art. As a movement, it is associated heavily with sciences, an association that resulted in staying at the peripheries of the art world for almost 40 years. For a traditional humanities scholar, digital humanities presents similar negative associations with sciences. This position poses vital questions about the nature/future of digital humanities: Should digital humanities aim to become a new culture, or just a space for humanities scholars to develop digital tools? Should the existing humanities research methodology updated/enhanced to incorporate digital tools, or should humanities take on a new role in the face of 21st century’s digital world by developing digital methodologies?"

SLanguages 2008 Conference - 23 May 2008

SLanguages 2008: Virtual Conference Explores New Frontiers in Language Learning

Barcelona, Spain, 20 March 2008 - - SLanguages 2008 is a 24-hour
multilingual conference to celebrate and investigate the use of 3D virtual
worlds for language education. The event will be held in Second Life on
23-24 May 2008.

SLanguages 2008 is a 24 hour multilingual conference to celebrate and investigate the use of 3D virtual worlds for language education. The conference will be held within Second Life allowing the participants to exchange ideas and share experiences simultaneously around the world. The online conference is free to attend and includes talks, workshops, discussions and posters on language education using virtual worlds such as Second Life. The events will cover methodologies, teaching tools and experiences.

Second Life is a 3D virtual world that has attracted over 12 million residents worldwide and has become a mainstream phenomenon for education, business and entertainment. Throughout 2007 Second Life has become an important tool for language learning with many universities using the 3D world for language tuition, including Michigan State University and the University of Southampton. “Interest in using Second Life for education has increased exponentially over the last year” says Second Life educational consultant Gavin Dudeney, author of The Internet and the Language Classroom, Longman 2007.

The event is an opportunity for those new to virtual language teaching to learn about the opportunities virtual worlds offer. The conference also allows experienced language educators to share experiences and ideas. "3D virtual worlds such as Second Life offer a unique form of immersive learning not found elsewhere. The SLanguages 2008 conference is the perfect opportunity to see the recent developments in this area and to meet those involved in truly innovative educational projects" says Graham Stanley, who has established the British Council's 'Learn English Second Life for Teens'.

SLanguages 2008 will be hosted within Second Life on the tropical “EduNation” islands owned by The Consultants-E. The conference starts 10am (PST) Friday 23 May and ends 10am (PST) Saturday 24 May. The seminars will continue to also reach a much wider audience through archives of the event on the website.

To register for the conference or for further information, please contact Gavin Dudeney of The Consultants-E or visit the website The Consultants-E is an educational consultancy company specialising in online education, offering tailored consultancy in technology for education. Their consultants assist companies and educational institutions to integrate innovative technologies into their teaching practices. The company also offers courses in e-learning tools such as Second Life, wikis, podcasts and Moodle. The Consultants-E own and run three private islands in Second Life that foster education and training.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Phantom Channel

A lesson in netlabel arts, web design, and the politics of post industrial P2P culture is provided free of charge by the web label Phantom Channel on their website. According to the UK startup's intro:

You don’t have to be an economist, nor Thom Yorke or even Guy Hands to spot it. Open a newspaper, turn on the radio, read a blog: there it is in front of you in numbers and in quotes and in column inches. The music industry is in ‘crisis’, the music industry is in ‘freefall’, the music industry is in ‘turmoil’. Sales are down and piracy is up. These are troubled times.

The 'troubled times' we read of is the steady fare of mainstream print newspapers (also experiencing a fall in revenues, mainly from loss of advertising but also from sales) and is the flag hoisted by IFPI, MPAA, BSA, CAAST, FACT, FAST, IDSA (and all the others) when issues of music distribution in the digital age are discussed in the public arena. But what it the real issue here. It seems Phantom Channel have their eye on the prize when it comes to how to do business in the Internet age:

Perhaps the most wonderful discovery that’s come about from the birth of Phantom Channel, is just how many breathtaking, exciting and creatively dextrous artists there are out there, operating under the music press radar in studios and bedrooms across the world. It’s thrilling to be able to present these artists under the Phantom Channel banner and we know you’ll be just as thrilled to hear them.

One can read these words as streamed content from the Phantom Channel label massages your ears (for free!!). Pluse there are links to the Phantom Channel site, with downloads and streams embedded as a widget on the site. There is also a link to their MySpace page (only 144 friends but I am sure it will rise) where one review extract states:

'Came across this netlabel (Phantom Channel) on my journey's today and was very impressed by the quality of the music, super deep and considered drones, digital detritus and dense atmospherics. They have one album at the moment, a compilation made up of nine tracks by different artists. You can download the album from their release page' (Thor @ Lowlife Recordings)

The one album done by the label so far Phantom Channel presents - part 1 is available as a full legal download from the website. This is tones of sound in slow waves that wash over the listener in a sort of slowed down La Monte Young warm treacle black crescendo with gongs, tonal blips and bells. Very nice on a Sunday Morning.

My advice is if you are currently involved with a music/sound label or are a puveryor of such music yourself, take a look/listen/feel at Phantom Channel and even if the music is not your cup of chai, see how it can be done in these 'troubled times'.

Note: This is the 1000th entry for the Soulsphincter blog!!! Happy Happy Happy. Great days ahead.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Please Help Burma

The cyclone that ripped through Burma left tens of thousands dead and a million homeless--a natural disaster made much worse by the failure of the military junta to warn or evacuate its people.

Now, the government has slowed the urgent process of providing humanitarian relief--so Avaaz is raising funds for the International Burmese Monks Organization and related groups, which will transmit funds directly to monasteries in affected areas.

In many of the worst-hit areas, the monasteries are the only source of shelter and food for Burma's poorest people. They have been on the front lines of the aid effort since the storm struck. Other forms of aid could be delayed, diverted or manipulated by the Burmese government--but the monks are the most trusted and reliable institution in the country.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Downstreams (The Week of Impossibilties is Complete))

This week I: finished teaching a course, wrote an exam paper, wrote a course evaluation, started learning sign language, completed a rewite of thesis chapter (8 hour non-stop writing session today), completed my timetable of hours at university outside my doctoral position (looking good there) and dealt with two family members in hospital (everything OK at the moment), created a building in Second Life, and supervised an exam. The week of impossibilities is complete. And now for the weekend:

Loop's found sounds
I met Loop in Second Life. Loop likes blippy 303 style techno and gives it away. Some short and some long. Most of it quite good, reminds me of Gray Area. Check out Gloria.

Patrick Moutal's Indian Music Page
This site is an education in North Indian classical music. Huge collection of raga excerpts, videos and essay (mostly in French). Incredible.

Public Domain Music
List of thousands of songs and musical works in the public domain in the US.

Sound Transit
SoundTransit is a collaborative, online community dedicated to field recording and phonography.

N is an international network of musicians, improvisers and composers. We create, record and perform music using acoustic, electronic and electro-acoustic media. You can attend the upcoming N Events in Amsterdam, Bergen, New York, Stavanger, Berlin or Geneva.


N is a conglomerate of groups and enembles based on a pool of dutch, norwegian, german, turkish, american and swiss musicians. All the different parts of N are active individually: touring, recording and developing new music in the fields of improv, electronic music, noise, jazz, and contemporary music.

Merzbow - Dradomel LP 1992 (Hannover Interruption)
This album finds Merzbow in full-on, harsh-noise mode, at least at first listen. Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) is one of my heroes. Not only is he one of the innovators of noise-as-music, with an incredible range of stylistic applications in his repertoire, he also shames most creative artists in terms of sheer productivity. The amount of Merzbow/Masami Akita solo releases and collaborations on LP, 7" vinyl, cassette tape and CD is absolutely staggering, approximately 400 since 1980; that's an average of 14 releases per year, making him something like the Fassbinder of Noise. The thing about his catalog, at least from this fan's perspective, is that so much of it is really very good, the constant experimentation and variation of his approach, and the collaborations with other artists bearing proof of an extremely bountiful creative spirit.

[ // A Perpetual Isolationist Mix Tape ]
We all have that space inside of us (or at least a little over 1,300 listeners). It's a wide, warm, dark place that we retreat to when the noise of the world and the chatter of people become unpalatable. We retreat into a language-less landscape filled with ebbs and flows of emotion and mood. It is impossible to describe, impossible to bring others, but we all go to it in our own way and in our own time. does not want to talk to you while you're in that place, and we don't want to "cheer you up". All we want to do is sit quietly by your side and provide a soundtrack to your introspection. It's not normal "music" and it's not supposed to be. It is what it is, and either you get it or you don't. You can stay as long as you want, and all we hope for to enhance your own mood.
We're a podcast. We're a website. Right-click on any track in the playlist to download what you want. They're all under the Creative Commons.

Coil - Time Machines (1998)
drone, psychedelic, ambient, electronic

Music For Maniacs: LSD MADE A WRECK OF ME
As a tribute to the recently deceased Dr. Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, here's a few amusing curios mainly from (when else?) the 1960s. Good for samples....

Grey Daturas - Only Claw Hammer [LP] (2008)
stoner metal, doom, drone
vinyl rip

ine inch nails: the slip
Another free one from NIN. I wonder if record company executives like it when Trent releases anothe slab of tunes. According to the source; "As a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via"

Jamendo : Home
On Jamendo artists allow anyone to download and share their music. It's free, legal and unlimited..

Topology : Perpetual Motion Machine
The Australian chamber group Topology plays post-modern music at crisp tempos and with a contemporary twist that should surprise those who think modern classical music is difficult and elitist.

Six Organs of Admittance - The Sun Awakens
Six Organs of Admittance are so good. Everything they have recorded that I have heard is worth owning. For Octovio Paz (2003) is something you simply must own. Send money to Ben Chasny!

Six Organs of Admittance is the primary musical project of guitarist Ben Chasny. Chasny's music is largely guitar-based, however it includes obvious influences, marked by the use of drones, chimes, and eclectic percussive elements.
Chasny is also a member of the psychedelic band Comets on Fire, and has working relationships with Badgerlore, Current 93, Magik Markers, and many others. Six Organs of Admittance has also released a song exclusively on the psych/folk compliation record The Golden Apples of the Sun. The album's compliler Devendra Banhart has stated this song comes from a fully produced but unreleased Chasny album he refers to as the "solo record"

Ananda Shankar - Ananda Shankar
I own this record but it is stored in a warehouse in Australia along with the rest of the stuff I own from the first 30 years of my life. The rest is here in Sweden. This CD from the late Ananda Shankar (11 December 1942 - 26 March 1999 - the nephew of renowned sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar) includes Jumpin Jack Flash:

Peace and don't let the impossibilities get in your way!

Good Copy Bad Copy on SVT2 Tonight

Tonight on SVT2 (Swedish National Television Channel 2) the document Good Copy Bad Copy will be shown. Of course if you have the net bandwidth you have probably already seen it (look above). If none of the previous means anything to you, then watch the film Good Copy Bad Copy tonight on SVT2 at 20:00:

Good Copy Bad Copy is a documentary about copyright and culture in the context of Internet, directed by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke. It features interviews with many people with various perspectives on copyright, including copyright lawyers, music producers and controversial music artists such as Girl Talk and Danger Mouse. The interviews with artists reveal an emerging understanding of digital works and the obstacle to their authoring copyright presents.

Originally created for the Danish National Broadcasting Television network, the film was eventually released for free on the internet. It first appeared on The Pirate Bay and then it was officially released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license on the video sharing site. (wikipedia)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Back to the Sickhouse

In Swedish it is Sjukhuset ('The Sick House' is the literal translation) but in English it is Hospital. We are back to the hospital today with Ben (pictured above with hearing aids in situ) for the xrays that he was supposed to have two weeks ago.
Yesterday we went to our first sign language class, it was interesting but perhaps more complex than I thought it was going to be. Its a new language and the only experience I have to compare it to is when I started to learn Swedish in formal classes in 2000. Lots to remember.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Late Night Thesis Imagery

While working on a rewrite of a thesis chapter (which should have been finished last week) I move between the word document and one of the corpus texts I am discussing (Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day by M.D. Coverley). The above shot was an in-between-moment when the thesis and the subject text mixed into a strange purple text image. My attempt at logical analysis peeks out in red letters (I color code the sections I am working on) beneath the artistic weight of the centuries.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Building in Second Life

I have been building a meeting and teaching space for HUMlab in Second Life. A sort of stone mushroom in the palm trees. The experience reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to build the most elaborate cubby houses. My sister was better at it, but I seem to remember putting a lot of energy into houses, castles and temples.

Pandit Kishan Maharaj 1923-2008

The great Indian tabla player Pandit Kishan Maharaj passed away at Khajuri near Varanasi yesterday at the age of 84. Born in the year 1923 into a family of professional musicians, Kishan Maharaj was initially trained in classical music by his father Pandit Hari Maharaj. After his father's sudden death, his training was taken over by his uncle, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj, one of the great old masters and himself a disciple of Pt. Baldeo Sahai of the Banaras Gharana.
By the time he was eleven, he began performing in concerts. Within a few years, Kishan Maharaj was sharing the stage with stalwarts like Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Vasant Rai, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, and many others.

The two late doyens of north indian classical arts Ustad Vilayat Khan (sitar) and Pandit Kishan Maharaj (tabla) playing raag Darbari KanaDa. Both now dearly missed.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tune Out Drop In Turn Up

While a 31 year old Swede was found guilty today of copyright infringement in an appeal hearing against an earlier conviction:

After a retrial, a 31 year old man from Linköping, Sweden, was found guilty this morning in the District Court.

The court decided that for uploading 4,500 music tracks and 30 movies with the filesharing application Direct Connect, the defendant should receive a heavy fine and a suspended prison sentence. Initially the file-sharer had been accused of uploading around 23,000 music tracks, but Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Agency’s (APB) use of questionable investigative techniques forced the prosecutor to withdraw some of the charges.

In its verdict, the Linköping District Court decided that due to the large number of files involved in the case, handing out just fines wasn’t enough, hence the suspended sentence. This situation of sharing many thousands of files at once affects the BitTorrent user a lot less than those using other methods of sharing, which is probably why the music industry prefers to target users using ‘folder sharing’ clients, such as DirectConnect, LimeWire and KaZaA. (TorrentFreak)

On the other side of the world stranger things are happening. As I blogged earlier:

Australia's biggest musical acts are crying poor in a new documentary that seeks to discourage people from obtaining music illegally and change the public's perception that they live a high life of riches and glamour.

But now the video has been withdrawn due to one of the artists featured claiming that he was misrepresented in the advertisment:

One of the artists interviewed for the video, Lindsay McDougall of Frenzal Rhomb, was livid after watching it last week, saying he was duped into joining an anti-piracy "witch hunt".

He called it a case of the record labels "crying poor", prompting the music industry to recut the video to exclude him.

"It seems that the industry used the artists to achieve an anti-piracy and woe-is-us message," said Jared Madden, 32, who, with colleague Adam Purcell, is responsible for the Tune-Out campaign. (Music industry's piracy message out of tune)

The campign, is addressing the 'music industry' (whatever that might be) in general:

You the Music Industry have failed to move with us in our discovery of new and exciting ways to interact, collaborate, and communicate. We have embraced the digital space and the opportunities it affords us, and we have changed because of this. We are developing new forms of entertainment which have transformed the way we interact with each other, with you, and with music. This is an ongoing process, and we are excited about what we will discover tomorrow.

Interesting times indeed.

Troyano: Digital Art and Culture

Troyano is a collective of independent Chilean artists from Santiago, which organizes cultural activities relative to art and technology. TROYANO formed in 2005 to do interdisciplinary research on art and digital culture. Their recent publication, Art and Digital Culture, brought together work from contributors as diverse as artists and theorists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, and the U.S. This publication grew out of two major conferences TROYANO organized in 2005 and 2006 with the support of the Spanish Cultural Center and the Museum of Contemporary art in Santiago, Chile: Elena (2005) and Updating, Art and Technology (2006).

Toryano want to propose in the contemporary Chilean society a debate on the “creative” use of media in opposition to a purely economic, utilitarian and commercial vision of technology diffusion. Chile has been in close commercial relationships with Japan, Taiwan (and now China) for decades, it's an important copper producer (the copper is a fundamental component to produce technology) and it has been always projected to a reliable and dynamic “modernity” (but also neo-free trader and reassuring for Western Countries) so the critical position of the Troyano group is an unfounded position.

A Video of TROYANO presenting their bilingual publication, Art and Digital Culture, at CRCA on UCSD campus, on Tuesday, May 29th 2007. (Realplayer, 1.23 mins) An interesting insight into Latin American digital media activism and cultural actions presented in English.

TROYANO: CRITICAL CHILE NEAR AT THE FUTURE (a text interview of three of four components of this group - formed by Ignacio Nieto, Italo Tello, Ricardo Vega ed Alejando Albornoz)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Buds a Budding: The Green Fuse Drives the Flower

Outside my window the trees are shooting out buds that seem to be growing by the minute. The greening of trees for Spring happens over a couple of days here in the sub-arctic north. I thought of a Dylan Thomas poem (see below images)

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

From Dylan Thomas: The Poems, published by J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London, 1971

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Downstreams (Its May! Its May! Come out to Play!)

May and much to offer this week for downstreams. Films, audio, texts, images, animations, and combinations. Plus an anniversary for it was 40 years ago today:

A look at the events and some of the causes of the uprising in France in the Spring of 1968. Unfortuately, there is no mention of one of the driving forces of the uprising both before and during the revolt - the Situationist International. For more information check out the writings of the Situationists themselves.

The Beginning of an Era
May 1968 Documents
The Joy of Revolution
The Society of the Spectacle
The Revolution of Everyday Life
Enrages and Situationists in the Occupation Movement

The Herald Tribune has a plethora of front pages and time lines from the days when the Paris streets were closed to traffic. In a related area a estate agency has opened in London for squatters with many fine propeties available.
Your music your way. Listen to and download music for free! Listen to and download music for free. No signup and no fee ever...enough said. Check it out and voice your opinions by commenting!

UbuWeb - 365 Days Project (2007) star trek bloopers audio
The back liner notes state, these bloopers were rescued from old reel-to-reel audio tapes from a "Hollywood garbage can" and sold to a Star Trek collector... only after they created this album to cash in! The rest of the liner notes detail the entire process of what "Fifty-five apples, take one" mean, why several of these tracks are painfully similar, and other info.
What you get are 58 different bloopers and outtakes from four different episodes from the third and final season of "Star Trek". For those "Trekkies" out there who want to know which episodes, they are (in no particular order) "Whom Gods Destroy", "The Way To Eden", "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield", and "Turnabout Intruder".
Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) states at the end of Side 1, "there's some rather strange activity taking place here." That line from an episode perfectly capsulates this album.
Listen as the crew flub lines, assistant directors yelling "BEEP" to fill in the now famous phaser sound effect, Shatner swearing, space hippies singing, Scotty "playing football" on the bridge (?), a rather "delirious" Dr. Janice Lester that sounds awfully X-rated, and the final lines Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett - the future Mrs. Gene Roddenberry) ever uttered on the show.
If you're a casual fan or a rabid "Trekkie", you'll find this a "fascinating" listen. Live long and... oh, SHUT UP!

As a founding member of Seventies avant-garde acts Coum Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle, the English-born Genesis effectively laid the groundwork for what would become industrial music. (Quite literally, as Throbbing Gristle reportedly coined the term when they formed their Industrial Records label.) Make no mistake, without Gen there would be no Nine Inch Nails, Ministry or Marilyn Manson.
In the Eighties, Genesis founded “hyperdelic acid house” group Psychic TV, with whom he went on to explore psychedelic head music and occult spirituality (the roots of which stretch back to Genesis’ childhood and his grandmother who was a medium). Psychic TV’s latest record, Hell Is Invisible…Heaven Is Her/e was released this past June on Sweet Nothing records.
Over the years, Genesis’ creative orbit has crossed the paths of many influential artists, including beat writers William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, psychedelic guru Dr. Timothy Leary, industrial supergroup Pigface and Japanese noise band Merzbow.

Kamau Amu Patton
The website of Bay Area-based video and performance artist Kamau Amu Patton, whose work uses and often reassembles traditional African imagery and costume in order to explore the formation of modern mythology, African-American identity, and popular culture. One of the best website introductions I have seen.

Albert Hofman: LSD - My Problem Child
At the age of 102 years, Albert Hofmann died peacefully last Tuesday morning, 29th April, in his home near Basel, Switzerland. Still last weekend we talked to him, and he expressed his great joy about the blooming plants and the fresh green of the meadows and trees around his house. His vitality and his open mind conducted him until his last breath.
He is reputed to be one of the most important chemists of our times. He is the discoverer of LSD, which he considers, up to date, as both a "wonder drug" and a "problem child". In addition he did pioneering work as a researcher of other psychoactive substances as well as active agents of important medicinal plants and mushrooms. Under the spell of the consciousness-expanding potential of LSD the scientist turned increasingly into a philosopher of nature and a visionary critical of contemporary culture. (Via GaiaMedia)

UbuWeb Sound :: Audio By Visual Artists, TELLUS 21
They are all here; Beuys, Russolo, Duchamp, Schwitters, Brecht, Huelsenbeck plus more.

UbuWeb Sound: Tellus #24 - Flux Tellus
Twenty nine peices of sound art. Sound as in noise, not as in "of reliable character".

Steve McLaughlin
the online works of the guy who did The Complete Beatles in One Hour mix. Vidoes. audio, texts.

Continuo’s weblog
Avant rock contemporary european electronic field recording french jazz optosonics radio art sound art spoken word. Downloads galore.

The Wooster Group - Rhyme 'Em To Death
Rhyme 'Em To Death reconstructs the trial from Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame from a new perspective, that of a minor character - the goat. The trial of the goat, a postscript in the Hugo novel, has been extended and enlivened with actual transcripts of 15th-century trials in which animals were persecuted as witches. Video effects alter the 16mm black and white film images, as if the remnants of a lost film had been discovered and pieced together by a video freak who attempted to faithfully reconstruct a lost art - the aural world of the goat, the distorted rantings of the court room, and blurred sound effects combined with a musical score drive the narrative to its tragic conclusion.

La Monte Young
La Monte Young, editor "An Anthology of Chance Operations" (1963) [PDF, 35mb]
La Monte Young Marian Zazeela "Selected Writings" (1959-1969) [PDF]
Notes on Continuous Periodic Composite Sound Waveform Environment Realizations
Dream Music [Notes... from Aspen 8][Dream Music from Aspen 9]
La Monte Young and Charlotte Moorman in UbuWeb Sound
La Monte Young in UbuWeb Sound

Tellus: Twenty seven cassettes and CDs from the Tellus series 1983-1993.
Launched in 1983 as a subscription only bimonthly publication, the Tellus cassette series took full advantage of the popular cassette medium to promote cutting edge music, documenting the New York scene and advanced US composers of the time - the first 2 issues being devoted to NY artists from the downtown scene. The series was financially supported along the years by funding from the New York State Council of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Obviously, the Tellus publishers (visual artist and composer Joseph Nechvatal, curator Claudia Gould and composer Carol Parkinson, director of Harvestworks from 1987 on) never considered running an underground publication, rather envisaging the cassette medium as an art form in itself. A quite unique point of view at a time (the 1980s) when many self released cassettes blossomed through mail order or trade between artists, and when the cassette milieu was promoting DIY technique, even anti-art as a motto. The Audio Cassette Magazine never indulged into amateurism, their releases always focused, well researched and aptly curated. From the start, the founding members deliberately aimed at raising the profile of their cassette releases, sending issues to US public libraries and museums, for instance. The Tellus team launched the Harvestworks Artist-In- Residence Program along the cassette series, to promote independent artists’ projects and provide them with a professional recording facility, named Studio PASS.

Tellus 'The Audio Cassette Magazine' was in activity for 10 years (1983-1993), witnessing the digital revolution taking place in the new media arts. Some points of comparison can be established with the Toronto based MusicWorks Journal and cassette, launched 1978, or with the ROIR cassette only releases of various musical styles, from Flipper to Lee Perry to Einsturzende Neubauten, launched 1981. Tellus published audio art, new music, poetry and drama, exploring musical spheres as diverse as avant-garde composition, post industrial music, NY no wave, Fluxus music, heirs of Harry Partch, avant rock, sound poetry, radio plays, tango, electroacoustic music, etc.

Ben Franklin Airbath: Philadelphia FMA sampler (mp3s)
Half way down this page of Mp3s from Philadelphia sounds is Fursaxa with many beautiful tunes available:
After playing in bands like UN with Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards), Tara Burke began her solo project Fursaxa at the turn of the century. Taking a page out of Philadelphia's Ambient Consortium and the Bardo Pond school of acid-folk space exploration, Fursaxa also brings to mind elements of religious music, from church choirs to raga drones. Burke employs guitar, casio, Farfisa organ, accordian, dulcimer, effected vocals, drums, bells, flutes, and the kitchen sink without ever losing her otherworldly focus. Fursaxa was one of the highlights of Terrastock 6, in Providence's huge reverberant Pell Chafee Performance Center, and also sound great in these fine locations:

Fursaxa - Tyranny (mp3) Recorded 3.28.02 at the Mercury Lounge, NYC, available on Amulet from Last Visible Dog
Fursaxa - Circle Moon (mp3) Recorded 3.29.02 at the Khyber Pass Phila PA, available on Cult From Moon Mountain cdr

Fursaxa live on Irene Trudel's show broadcast 4.28.03 on WFMU :
Fursaxa - Dragonflies are Blue and Silver (mp3) live on WFMU 4.28.03
Fursaxa - Moonlight Sonata (mp3) live on WFMU 4.28.03
Fursaxa - Tuvalu (mp3) live on WFMU 4.28.03
Fursaxa - Renoun (mp3) live on WFMU 4.28.03

from Kobold Moon, newly released on Burke's own Sylph label, which just arrived in this morning's mail:
Fursaxa - Kokopelli (mp3)
Fursaxa - Saxalainen (mp3)
Fursaxa - Song of The Spindle Berry (mp3)

Thank you and enjoy May!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Reality Drops By With Advice

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have not be maintaining this blog as I would like to. I am trying to create a majority of original content and avoid cutting and pasting and would like to be posting daily. However my situation as it is developing is making this difficult. I have about 8 or 9 months left on my PhD (OMFG!!) position. I have two chapters to complete and then three to revise extra to those two. I am also doing some teaching next term, but not very much. As well I am working on a couple of things from HUMlab, mainly in relation to Second Life. These things combined with my family commitments add up to the rest of this year looking like being an extremely busy period in my life. As a result this blog will continue but in an irregular form. I value it as part of my post graduate process and for that reason I am considering using it for chapter excerpts from my thesis. There will be fewer entries over the coming months but I will try and make them worthwhile reading. The aim of my life will now on be becoming Dr. Jim in 2009........